Solemn 9/11 Salute Honors N.H.'s Fallen
No New Names Added to Memorial
By Patrick Cronin, Photos by Ioanna Raptis
Hampton Union , Sunday, September 14, 2012
[The following article is courtesy of Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
American Legion Post 35 unveiled and dedicated the new art and stones on the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Monument in Hampton Tuesday, the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.
HAMPTON -- The Global War on Terrorism Monument was the scene of a somber but bittersweet Sept. 11 observation Tuesday. It was the first time since American Legion Post 35 unveiled the memorial in 2006 that no new names were etched into its surface.
Hundreds came out to the monument at 69 High St. on Tuesday to mark the occasion and to remember the victims of that fateful day that precipitated the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"Let us hope and pray this is the beginning of a trend and that no more names need to be added to the monument," said Gov. John Lynch, guest speaker at the annual ceremony.
Lynch told those in attendance that they can never forget what happened 11 years ago and the sacrifices of the brave New Hampshire servicemen who answered the call of duty and died for their country.
"We can never repay the debt we owe to our fallen soldiers and we can never repay the debt that we owe to their families," Lynch said.
The first-of-its-kind monument at 69 High St. is engraved with the names of all the veterans from the state of New Hampshire who have lost their lives in the war on terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001, in the chronological order of their passing.
Since no new names were added, this year's ceremony focused on the 57 names already on the monument.
Local veterans said a word about each one from the first name put on the monument, Army Spc. Jesse Scott Conger, to the last, which was Maj. James W. Dennehy of Salisbury.
Stories shared included one by veteran Fred Rice on how Army Capt. Jonathan D. Grassbaugh — who was killed in action in 2007 — raised troop morale by delivering 60 pizzas to the 430 men in his unit.
Or how the former high school of Marine Lance Cpl. Peter "PJ" Sora Jr. — who was killed in a military training accident 2004 — still honor him by wearing the initials PJ on their wrestling uniforms.
Special recognition was also given to Navy SEAL Daniel R. Healy of Exeter. Healy was killed June 28, 2005, when his MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan.
"That was the seed that started everything and it went from there that we wanted to honor everyone in New Hampshire who paid the ultimate sacrifice," said Ralph Fatello, commander of American Legion Post 35.
In addition, the post unveiled new artwork on the monument's two new stones.
On the west stone there is now a picture of the Old Man of the Mountain, while the east stone contains an image of the Lady of the Sea monument at Hampton Beach.
"From the mountains to the sea, your loved ones will be comforted and embraced by these two distinct New Hampshire icons," Fatello said.
Color guards from the Winnacunnet High School Junior ROTC, Boy Scout Troop 177 and Hampton Fire Department were on hand, and a large American flag hung high, suspended from a Hampton fire truck's ladder.
The ceremony concluded with the laying of a memorial wreath, a multi-rifle salute to the dead and the playing of taps.
An American flag suspended from the ladder of a firetruck is fastened into place by American Legion Post 35 on High Street in Hampton for the Global War on Terrorism Monument Dedication Tuesday
Post 35 Commander Ralph Fatello reads the names of the fallen during the Global War on Terrorism Monument Dedication Tuesday.
Governor Lynch was one of the guest speakers at Tuesday's American Legion Post 35 monument dedication
Families of the fallen as well as veterans, state dignitaries and members of the general public attend the Global War on Terrorism Monument dedication Tuesday
The American Legion Post 35 unveiled the new art on the new stones on the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Monument during a ceremony Tuesday
Members of the Hampton Fire Department color guard get into position for the Global War on Terrorism Monument Dedication Tuesday
A veteran stands in salute for the National Anthem during the Global War on Terrorism Monument dedication by American Legion Post 35 in Hampton on Tuesday